I have friends who are dealing with the worst of cancers and the death of a loved one. Earthquakes, flooding, wars and hurricanes displace thousands of people. Yet, many of them endure. Not just endure. They endure creatively. How do they do it?
They learn these truths:
Photo Credits: Raw silk- http://www.wormspit.com/degumming.htm; -wood_uncut_by_borysses.jpg
Sometimes we all get into an obsessive space over a perceived or real wrong done to us. Around and around, out and in our egos spin on the rim of that hurricane, covering the same territory ad nauseum even while we long to catch hold of the Eye where we can be drawn down into Presence for as long as that gift lasts.
Here are some tools I find helpful:
I surround you with divine light
May you be safe from harm
May you be happy and peaceful
May you be strong and healthy
May you take care of yourself with joy.
Breathing in I am peace
Breathing out I release anger
Breathing in I am power
Breathing out I release dominance.
May it be so.
Louise Penny writes a mystery series about a detective in a mythical village in Quebec called Three Pines. I love these books especially for the author’s keen insight into human nature and her prose which flows like poetry. A favorite from the series is The Beautiful Mystery, about a murder in a monastery set deep into the wilds of Canada. Although hidden away, the monks are renowned for their near perfect expression of Gregorian chant. The abbot says, “Each of us individual notes. On our own, nothing. But together? Divine. We don’t just sing, we are the song.” The narrator says, “Gamache wondered if an equally important part of a chant wasn’t just the notes, but the space between them. The silence…They had such a profound effect on those who sang and heard them that the ancient chants became known as “The Beautiful Mystery.”
Photo Credit: https://www.smov.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=347&Itemid=717
On the cusp of Autumn
We dare to beg:
On brittle leaves already colored
Dull yellow, gold and red.
On forest-fire smokescreen,
On eerie orange sun
Casting shadows in shades of pink.
Rain down on day-long dusk
Wash ashen scales from purblind eyes
On the parched spirits
Of dreamers curled up into themselves
Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Remove the smokescreen of words
That splays their spirits waiting
To be sacrificed on the altar of American jobs.
© Rita h Kowats 9-7-17
Photo Credit: J&V Photography
Along with millions of others I recently viewed a photo on Facebook of a group of elderly women at La Vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson, Texas. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey they sat in water up to their waists waiting to be rescued. Not exactly the Beautiful Life they had expected. One resident did craft work, others just sat and waited. How does one keep one’s self stable and centered when fear stands watch outside the door threatening to knock it down? As I’ve continued to ask myself that this week a memory of another tragedy caught my attention.
September 11, 2001. An eerie, out-of-character silence had settled on my class of seventeen-year-olds as we waited for news of a sighted but now missing hijacked airplane. Two had already crashed into the twin towers. A wail shattered the silence, emitted from a slumped-over manchild. “Where is my brother? He isn’t answering his phone. WHERE IS MY BROTHER?” How does one keep one’s self stable and centered when fear stands watch outside the door threatening to knock it down?
One day at a time, one choice at a time. In another era we would have said one self-denial at a time. As a young nun in pre-Vatican II days I wore sacrifice beads and pulled one down with each denial. Please. Meister Eckhart fiercely condemns such practices as blocks to birthing the real God in our lives. I think we prepare for those times of no control with the practice of relinquishing control. By letting go of the need to control we become free and able to endure lack of control. We can let go of our need to have the last word, the most stunning idea, the brilliant psychoanalysis of our neighbor. By living outside of our egos we learn to live inside of ourselves where we are sparks of the divine. If we address the fear which stands outside our door from that place, we know how to wait for the rescue.
Cold water rising
Strong women reap peace past sown
Fear flees in its wake
rita h kowats 9-4-17
Photo Credit Hands: creative commons https://pixabay.com
Photo CreditLa Vita Bella: Trudy Lampson via AP